Miriam Margolyes (Warner Bros’ Harry Potter film series) has signed on for a guest-starring role in Call The Midwife for this year’s Christmas special. Production on the special and the eighth season is now underway.
She will play Sister Mildred, a forthright and indefatigable sister from the Order. She arrives unexpectedly at Nonnatus House, her hands full with four Chinese orphans. Having fled China, the child refugees were found abandoned in Hong Kong and are being adopted in the UK as part of the World Refugee Project.
Call The Midwife is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, who was a district midwife in London’s east end during the 1950′s. In the 2018 Christmas special, the arrival of Mildred and refugees causes joy and chaos in equal measure. Trixie also return to Poplar just in time to cover for the Sisters as they leave for the Mother House. The Order’s Mother Superior has been taken ill and a new spiritual leader needs to be elected. It soon becomes clear, much to Sister Julienne’s horror, that she is the favoured candidate to take over.
The series is produced for BBC One by Neal Street Productions and has long been a rating winner for the BBC’s flagship channel, with last year’s Christmas special ranking as the top rated show on Christmas Day with 9.5 million viewers. The series was created and written by Heidi Thomas, who also serves as an executive producer alongside Pippa Harris, Heidi Thomas, Ann Tricklebank and Mona Qureshi. Ann Tricklebank is the series producer. Last Tango In Halifax helmer Syd Macartney is directing the Christmas special. The BBC has already renewed Call The Midwife through season nine.
Additionally, Fenella Woolgar (Victoria & Abdul, Harlots, War & Peace), Ella Bruccoleri (Genius: Picasso, The Last Kingdom) and Georgie Glen (Waterloo Road, Damned) have joined the cast as series regulars for season eight. Woolgar has been cast as Sister Hilda, Bruccoleri as postulant Sister Frances, and Glen as Miss Higgins, the surgery’s new receptionist.
The trio joins a returning cast that includes Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, Helen George as Trixie, Laura Main as Shelagh Turner, Victoria Yeates as Sister Winifred, Jennifer Kirby as Valerie, Leonie Elliott as Lucille, Stephen McGann as Dr Turner, Cliff Parisi as Fred, Annabelle Apsion as Violet, Max Macmillan as Timothy, Trevor Cooper as Sgt Woolf and Daniel Laurie as Reggie.
In the show’s eight season, it’s spring time in 1964 and everyone is excited for the Queen’s Royal birth. Violet is holding a Teddy Bears’ Picnic and raising funds through a competition on whether the Queen will have a boy or a girl. With the additions of the two new Sisters, who have been sent to live and work with the team in Poplar, Nonnatus House feels full once more. The midwives are introduced to their new midwifery bags, much to the distress of an already under the weather Sister Monica Joan who disturbingly absconds from Nonnatus House. Meanwhile, Nurse Crane is braced for a twin delivery but is confident the team can handle this smoothly.